It’s tough to be a HIP Guy with a dol­lar store ham­mer

North Penn Life - - Accent -

There seems to be an in­ter­nal plot among my clos­est fam­ily mem­bers to turn me into a Home Im­prove­ment Project EHIPF Guy. The prob­lem, de­clared in this space over the past sev­eral years ad nau­seum, is that I’ve never been a HIP Guy and I have no de­sire now to be a HIP Guy.

I be­lieve the sil­li­est words known to man are “as­sem­bly re­quired.” To me, that is an in­com­plete state­ment. It should read, “As­sem­bly re­quired . . . and ag­gra­va­tion in­evitable.”

The Blonde Ac­coun­tant will tell you that I know how to do the min­i­mum of what is nec­es­sary on home im­prove­ment projects, it’s just that I don’t want any­one to know that I have those ca­pa­bil­i­ties. tith all due re­spect to her, that is wrong, which in it­self is worth not­ing beFDusH WhDW’s WhH firsW WLPH she’s ever been wrong about any­thing.

I’ve al­ways sub­scribed to the old adageW A man has to know his lim­i­ta­tions. In the area of home im­prove­ment, I know mine. There is no pre­tense and I have no de­sire what­so­ever to be the guy who thinks he knows how to do home im­prove­ment projects only to mess things up so badly that the pro­fes­sion­als have to come in WR fix WhH sLWuDWLRn at an even higher cost.

$s Dn HxDPSOH RI that, I give you the fol­low­ing ev­i­denceW te don’t have a WRROERx. :hDW wH have is one of those lit­tle plas­tic bas­kets in the garage, the kind that sits on one’s kitchen counter into which all the bills get tossed.

The tools in­clude four ham­mers, which be­lieve me play heck with that lit­tle plas­tic bas­ket. The truth is, when The Blonde Ac­coun­tant and I got mar­ried, I brought along only one ham­mer and one screw­driver to the mar­riage, and those were both pur­chased at the dol­lar store, so you know they’re high qual­ity im­ple­ments. Any other tools we have are hHrs. ThHrH DrH fiYH Rr sLx dif­fer­ent screw­drivers, both reg­u­lar and Phillips, and the only thing I know about them is which end to use — most of the time.

There are var­i­ous other items in our tool bas­ket, none of which I can iden­tify with­out a Black C Decker con­sul­tant to help me. I think there might be a wrench, a caulker thingy and a few light bulbs in the tool bas­ket as well. Come to think of it, it’s prob­a­bly not wise to keep ham­mers and light bulbs in the same tool bas­ket and I’ll hop right to rec­ti­fy­ing that when I get home this evening.

So for Christ­mas this year, llder Daugh­ter and No. 1 Son-In-iaw gave me the book, “The Com­plete Photo Guide to Home Re­pair” by the good folks at Black C Decker. It is ap­par­ent that my daugh­ter and son-in-law are in ca­hoots with The Blonde Ac­coun­tant to turn me into a HIP guy. They know I like to read, so the think­ing must have been to get me a book about this stuff and maybe some of it would sink in.

And this would be a swell book if I was cu­ri­ous in the least bit about learn­ing to do home im­prove­ments. In fact, on the cover, the book touts that it in­cludes “350 projects and more than 2,000 pho­tos.”

A quick look through the book and the 350 projects it de­tails though re­vealed WhDW , FDn GR DSSrRxLPDWHOy zero of those projects, to the sur­prise of no­body in North Amer­ica. I will ad­mit, how­ever, to gig­gling like an eighth-grader at the dis­cov­ery in the “Com­mon Toi­let Prob­lems” sec­tion that there is a part of the toi­let that is called a “ball­cock.” vou can fiOO Ln yRur Rwn SunFhOLnH there. I did.

The re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion is that even if there was a A100 bill taped to the in­side cover of the book, even if each of the more than 2,000 pho­tos fea­tured women in biki­nis hold­ing Black C Decker tools, and even if the Beavis and Butthead De­part­ment was cre­atively nam­ing all the parts of a toi­let, I still wouldn’t be in­ter­ested in learn­ing about home im­prove­ment.

To il­lus­trate even fur­ther, I did re­ceive a Christ­mas present from The Blonde Ac­coun­tant this year that re­quired as­sem­bly — even PRrH HYLGHnFH RI WhH Hx­is­tence of the HIP Guy con­spir­acy. It was a small piece of fur­ni­ture, a ta­ble stand if you will, to hold a new turntable that she got me for my be­gin­ning record col­lec­tion.

cor the project, I en­listed the help of Son of Blonde Ac­coun­tant, who is only min­i­mally more com­pe­tent at th­ese things than I am. Although he went into the project with more en­thu­si­asm than I, the whole she­bang even­tu­ally turned sour, pa­tience was se­verely tested and snip­ing en­sued. I’m pretty sure that I con­sid­ered more than once the pos­si­bil­ity of throw­ing the en­tire piece of fur­ni­ture into the street and beat­ing it into submission with all four of our ham­mers. vou sup­pose the Black C Decker folks would con­sider putting pic­tures of that part of the project into their book?

Even­tu­ally, the project was com­pleted. Not per­fectly, of course, but with­out blood­shHG, whLFh , WhLnN TuDOL­fiHs it as a mod­est success.

Some­thing tells me, though, that the ef­fort to turn me into a HIP Guy will con­tinue. Ev­ery­body but me seems to want this. vou wDWFh, IRr Py nHxW ELrWh­day I’ll prob­a­bly get a real PHWDO WRROERx, whLFh , wLOO promptly throw into the street and stomp into scrap metal.

$nG , HxSHFW WhH BODFN & Decker peo­ple to be there with their cam­eras.

Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery Me­dia and au­thor of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ ya­ This col­umn can also be found at www.mont­

Outta Left­field Mike Morsch

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